In February I filmed my first wedding of the year at the Italian Villa for Emily and Paul. It was a beautiful wedding and I was enthusiastic to film the rest of the weddings, which were starting in full force in April.
At the same time there were stories surfacing in the news about what we now know to be Coronavirus. At the time I didn’t pay too much attention to the stories. The problem was half a world away and there has been a track record of other viruses that have been over-exaggerated in recent history (e.g. Ebola, H1N1).
In mid-March I met one of my wedding couples, who were due to get married in May. Our conversation was invariably dominated by Coronavirus. However, they had every intention of going ahead with their wedding in May and I had every intention of filming it.
As time passed, the virus spread and the news reports about Italy made it clear that this virus was more serious than most people imagined. It was quite a sobering time for me as a wedding videographer. I started to consider how I would approach a scenario where couples were required to postpone their weddings.
How the Wedding Industry Reacted
There has been a mixed approach to the situation by various suppliers in the wedding industry. The news has highlighted suppliers that have offered no-refund policies and no opportunity to move wedding dates for couples.
Some businesses in the wedding industry feel that charging a fee to postpone weddings is the fairest option for all parties involved. Wedding suppliers typically have a limited number of dates where they can take reservations every year. Every postponed wedding limits those dates further and charging a fee helps cover that lost revenue.
All my couples receive an agreement when they make a reservation with me, which sets out the terms and conditions of their reservation with me. This makes sure that every couple knows what is included in my service. There’s no overly technical wording or strange clauses – it simple sets out in plain English how I work so that the couple know what to expect.
According to the agreement, any postponement would be a cancellation and the deposit would therefore be forfeited. A new reservation would then need to be set up and a new deposit would be taken to secure the new date. Essentially there would be a fee to postpone the wedding date.
However, when the time came to postpone my first wedding, I didn’t feel comfortable charging the couple a fee to postpone their wedding due to Coronavirus.
I’d like to think that couples choose me because they enjoy my films and love my style. I’d also like to think that they choose me because they trust me. They trust me to film one of the biggest days of their lives. They trust that I can deal with any problems or obstacles that happen at the wedding. They can trust me to go the extra mile.
I felt like the current situation is one of those moments where I can go the extra mile. That’s why I haven’t charged any fees for weddings that have been postponed to later in 2020 or 2021. As a result, I’ve already postponed the following 2020 weddings without any fee.
– 3 weddings postponed to later in 2020
– 2 wedding postponed to 2021
– 3 weddings on hold for 2021 (awaiting confirmation)
I am certainly hopeful that this situation will pass and weddings will be in full swing when Summer begins. However, if the situation persists then any couples who are getting married in the Summer can rest assured that I will be here to help when the time comes.
You can also rest assured that you will receive a beautiful wedding film, regardless of what year, month or season you finally tie the knot.
How to Postpone Your Wedding with Me
If you do decide to postpone your wedding, please get in touch with your proposed date. At this point I will check my availability (please do not change the date with your venue without first checking my availability and the availability of your other suppliers). If I am available then I will put this date on hold for you and send you a “variation agreement”, which details the change of date. You can then sign this to agree that you would like me to film on your new date.
I hope that all my couples are safe and well. If you do need to discuss postponing your wedding, or simply need some advice, then please let me know and I will be happy to help.